Emails can hurt one’s personal brand – in a good or bad way!
When it comes to email etiquette at the office there are some things that one should remember and consider when corresponding by email. It’s also important to know, that emails can be a distinct liability to one’s personal brand or a personal branding power tool!
- Don’t Send An Email When Angry
Having angry emotions? Avoid sending an email. To ensure you send the “right” message, create an email and do not put in an email address or subject before writing. Instead, write the email, save it, then go back an hour later and re-read the message. Chances are there is room for improvement.
It Can Always Be Traced!
Avoid ANY personal emails at one’s place of business. The company has the right to track your typing, and they do, as well as be able to use any information one sends via company email to use as a legitimate reason to fire someone. So read your rules of correspondence from your company rule book.
Incomplete Signature Line
It’s important to not only put your name on ALL emails, but one should include contact phone numbers and social media outlets. This allows others to learn more about you while at the same time, reinforcing his or her’s personal brand.
Most companies use acronyms a great deal. If one is writing with external customers via email, avoid using company jargon, as the message may not be completely understood by outsiders. Be sensitive to whom the email is being sent.
It’s How You Say It, Not What You Say That Counts
Tone in an email is critical. Be careful how you say something. It’s also critical to use proper punctuation as well. Punctuation can change the tone as well as the message completely. Be careful of using texting langue, particularly with more professional emails.
Spell Check Is Not The Best Way To Edit Your Emails!
Sending very important emails? Then it is critical to proof read the message. First, use the computer editor. Then, print the email and read it backwards, word-per-word. This will help you catch misspelled or misused words.
Spell check in most software documents, such as Microsoft Word will catch most misspelled words. But it stops there. Spell check may not catch homophone or homonym words. For example, words such as night/knight, there/their, are homophone words that have the same sound but are spelled differently and have a different meaning. Homonyms are words that have the same sound and same spelling but differ in meaning such as bear (noun-the animal) and bear (verb: Peach trees bear fruit every summer.) One’s eyes must detect these because the computer may not.
- Keep Everyone Up-To-Date? Really?
When working on a project one of the first items that needs to be addressed is if everyone should be CC’d on emails. Most projects have a leader, someone in the group should take the initiative and decide on how to handle who is CC’d or not.
Typically, it is better to CC someone only if that information affects that person. If you find yourself getting too many emails, you can approach the other person in a polite manner asking them to forward only those emails that impact you.
- Be professional: have a decorum of formality.
- Avoid all CAPS. THIS MEANS YOU ARE YELLING AT SOMEONE!
- When doing mass mailings do not reveal your list to the recipients. Therefore, put the email addresses in the BCC area versus the CC area, and in the TO section, send it to yourself.
- Use effective subject lines that pertain to the conversation.
- Use professional signatures including address and contact information.
- Summarize a long email in a short paragraph so the recipient will know if it needs immediate attention before reading all the details.
- Avoid using urgent and important; unless it is urgent and important.
- Keep emails short and sweet.
- Properly format.
- Formality is not necessary for co-workers; however, be professional.
- Be careful of using acronyms that the recipient is not familiar with.
- Send large attachments in .ZIP files or use download Apps.
- Don’t leave out the message thread.
- Read your email at least twice before you send it. If necessary, print it out and review.
- Do not copy a message or attachment from someone else without his or her permission.
- Do not use email to discuss confidential information.
- Do not reply to an email when you are angry! Write it, and then return to it later before you send it.
- Remember, your email can be forwarded to others: use caution.